Does Renter’s Insurance Cover Theft?
Having something stolen from you is an awful feeling, and when you’re left to deal with the aftermath you might be wondering how to recoup the cost of the stolen item. If you rent your home, your renter’s insurance policy may cover the theft, depending on what was stolen, where it was stolen and the specifics of your policy.
What is renter’s insurance?
When you rent a property, the landlord holds property insurance that covers the value of the property, but you’re often required to hold a renter’s insurance policy that covers various potential damages such as fire, theft, and liability.
Your renter’s insurance likely includes personal property coverage which is the part of the policy that pays for damages due to natural disasters and theft. Your insurance may also include liability coverage, which means it would pay for medical expenses if someone was hurt on your property. Policies may include loss of use or additional living expenses, which is coverage for hotels and meals if your property is too damaged to live in (such as due to a flood or other natural disaster).
Will my renter’s insurance policy cover theft?
Your renter’s insurance policy likely covers theft under your personal property coverage, up to the policy limit that you chose when you signed up for the policy. The policy will often cover theft that occurs inside of your rented property, and may even cover theft that occurred outside of your home as well (for example, if your hotel room was breached and your laptop was stolen).
There are a few instances where your renter’s insurance will likely not cover you – for example, if the theft is due to negligence (such as you leaving your door wide open and someone entering your home steals your television set) or if the theft occurs while the object is in possession of a third party (this is applicable during travel, particularly when on an airplane). The renter’s insurance policy that you have also does not cover vehicle theft, you’d need a separate vehicle policy for that.
You should also be aware that you’ll be responsible for the deductible on your insurance policy. While you won’t need to pay this amount outright, it will be deducted from the amount you will receive in your claim check. For example, if your claim totals $10,000 and your deductible is $1,000, you would receive a check for $9,000.
Whenever you file a claim against your renter’s insurance, you’ll need to provide a police report for the theft.
What’s the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost coverage?
The actual cash value of a stolen item refers to the depreciated value of that item, not the original cost of what you paid for it. The replacement cost coverage allows for you to get a similar item to what was stolen without and depreciation or reduction, as long as the item is similar and comparable. The replacement cost value is generally a little more expensive to add to your policy, as you’d be replacing the items with new versions instead of receiving the depreciated value for the same items.
What are special limits to theft coverage on renter’s insurance?
There are certain categories within your renter’s insurance that are qualified by special limits, generally categories such as electronics, jewelry, and collector items. Within these categories, your renter’s insurance may only may up a specific sub-limit amount if that item is stolen. If you have several high-value items that may be impacted by these special limits, you may need to purchase additional insurance coverage so that the full value is covered.
Will my renter’s insurance cover the theft of someone else’s stuff?
Your policy will likely cover anyone related to you – so a spouse, child, etc. If you’re living with a partner but unmarried you might want to add that person as an additional insured person on your policy to provide additional coverage for their belongings. For roommates, they’ll need their own rental insurance policy.